Monday, July 26, 2010

Lucia Temptations in the Blogosphere

I came across the following passages just recently, and find that I need them here as a reminder for myself of just what we are facing and where a great many of the temptations lie for those of us engaging in the blogosphere in a political way.
In the nineteenth century, Cardinal Newman warned that naïve Catholics would fall into "mass apostasy" through lack of preparedness in spiritual combat: "Do you think (the Prince of Lies) is so unskillful in his craft, as to ask you openly and plainly to join him in his warfare against the Truth? No; he offers you baits to tempt you. He promises you civil liberty; he promises you equality; he promises you trade and wealth; he promises you a remission of taxes; he promises you reform. This is the way in which he conceals from you the kind of work to which he is putting you; he tempts you to rail against your rulers and superiors; he does so himself, and induces you to imitate him; or he promises you illumination, -- he offers you knowledge, science, philosophy, enlargement of mind. He scoffs at times gone by; he scoffs at every institution which reveres them. He prompts you what to say, and then listens to you, and praises you, and encourages you. He bids you mount aloft. He shows you how to become as gods. Then he laughs and jokes with you, and gets intimate with you; he takes your hand, and gets his fingers between yours, and grasps them, and then you are his."

Many have warned about the consequences of yielding the Faith to false messiahs. Years before becoming pope, Benedict XVI wrote: "Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic" (Truth and Tolerance, p. 116).

Related link: Unprepared for spiritual battle ~ CERC

6 comment(s):

KG said...

"..This is the way in which he conceals from you the kind of work to which he is putting you; he tempts you to rail against your rulers and superiors"

Is Cardinal Newman suggesting there that we shouldn't criticise our rulers and "superiors"?

ZenTiger said...

I think the main message there is to make sure you hold fast to your values and your faith because the temptation is to forgo those to achieve an illusion of greater good.

Equally, we must remember that the politicians are also tempted.

They think they are promoting civil liberty; equality; trade and wealth; remission of taxes; good reform.

Are they though? Or are they making changes that simply hasten the reduction of civil liberties, that see government spending increasing forcing tax reductions to be increased in other areas, that equality is given to things that are not equal, in a way that unbalances both?

If we see this in terms of spiritual war, then it is a warning not to abandon what you are fighting for by being caught up with false promises and false messiahs.

ZenTiger said...

Remember the film Karol...

KG said...

:) I do remember it. In fact I think about it often.
But while forgiveness and a gentle persistence have their place, so too does bloody insurrection when the enemies of freedom see those qualities as weakness, and exploit them.
Karol was successful because he represented both a spirit in the people and a powerful organisation.
The organisation has been seriously weakened and repression takes a different form now, one much harder for people to oppose.
Harder, because most of them don't even know what's being taken from them. The Poles knew damn well what the Soviets were doing.

Lucia Maria said...

Hi KG,

Is Cardinal Newman suggesting there that we shouldn't criticise our rulers and "superiors"?

Probably. It's a theme I've come across in spiritual writings from time to time, and one that gives me the most difficulty.

But he does say "he tempts you to rail against your rulers and superiors", which seems to indicate criticism for criticism's sake. Constructive criticism may be a different thing.

I've often found that those things that cause me the greatest difficulties can also the greatest opportunities for learning something very important, so I'm going to spend a bit of time looking into this.

KG said...

Thanks Lucia Maria. I look forward to your thoughts on it. The statement's certainly giving me some problems!

Post a Comment

Please be respectful. Foul language and personal attacks may get your comment deleted without warning. Contact us if your comment doesn't appear - the spam filter may have grabbed it.